British Military Medals Guide Miniature Medals
Miniature Medals are half the size of full size medals and normally worn on mess dress uniform, black tie functions as well as being worn by serving and Ex-Servicemen and women and are now very attractive and collectable for many dealers and collectors who are turning to miniature medals for an affordable alternative to the ever increasing cost of Full Size medals.
For example a Full Size Queens South Africa medals with 2 bars/ clasp used to cost around £45.00 and now would set you back double if not more than that in todays market and a Contemporary Miniature version would be a bargain at this price.
Miniature Medals are becoming very popular and although they may all look the same there are many different versions which we will try to explain -
MOD Approved Miniature medals - These are made and produced by suppliers who either hold a royal warrant or have a license to sell to and supply The Armed Forces and businesss wihich have been through very strict Ministry of Defence (M.O.D) examiniations to keep the highest standards and quality through various in depth stages and processes. This means that every medal is almost identical and the same as the first produced. THESE ARE ONLY MADE IN THE UK.
Contemporary Miniature Medals - These miniatures are normally aged and produced in less quantities than modern day miniature medals and their value in most cases is higher than current manufactured medals and in many cases found in sets rather than singles. These are a lot rarer and harder to find with less coming onto the markets.
Commemorative Miniature Medals - These medals can be purchased for almost any campaign and not issued by the medal office or armed forces. In years past these where refered to as "Bling medals" and were frowned upon by many, but are now slowly starting to be accepted by Veterans and Medal Dealers & Collectors. One of the companies who design, produce and distribute these medals give a percentage of their profits raised towards fantastic causes and charities. These medals CANNOT be mounted with issued medals but worn underneath their normal Issued Medals.
Imported Miniature Medals - Some sellers on internet auction sites sell miniature medals that look similiar to proper approved medals but have not been checked for quality or approved for wear by anyone other than the seller. They are flatter, smaller, thinner and cheap nasty medals that look pathetic when compared to a proper MOD Approved medal. If you receive a "Mr Wong Gong" from one of these suppliers and not happy send it back and order a special fried rice instead.
The grey area with contemporary medals is that they are normally not stamped and dont come with paperwork unless they are with a full size set making them hard to confirm if authentic. Many internet websites and online dealers have experience to help you through the minefield and can be trusted to guide you and points to look out for.
With issues in mind here are some tips and guides we recommend you look out for when looking at contemporary ,MOD Approved or Mr Wongs imported special miniature medals.
Look at the outside of the ribbon and then the underside is the ribbon new underneath or is it in keeping with the age of the medal ?
Rub the front (obverse) with your thumb gently and see what metal it is ie bronze, Silver, Cupro Nickel etc.
If miniature medals have a thin line on the rim (bottom edge) of the medals they are unlikely to be made in the UK and are unlikely to be contemporary or MOD Approved medals as they are made in one piece.
One of the best ways to buy contemporary miniature medals (and full size original named medals in fact) is to see and feel them at a Medal fair or militaria meeting and for all the years I have purchased from medal fairs I have never had a bad one and the sellers were as keen on medals as I am.
The next best way is specialist onliine medal dealers not just our company but many well established medal companies who have been around for a while and normally buy and sell between themselves and not rivals but fellow medal dealers some of whom have joined the OMRS. For example we dont sell full sized named original medals but would gladly recommend several companies that do.
We have also purchased contemporary miniatures from various internet auction sites and not been so lucky and of 14 so called "contemporary" medals 6 were genuine having returned the rejects we then confronted sellers who normally say "i thought it was" or it was sold to me as a contemporary. One medal had been intentionally aged on the ribbon with the inside edge brand new. Make sure the seller accepts returns and if in doubt send it back.
Miniature British World War 2 Medals - In Order of Wear
- 1939 - 45 STAR £3.50
- ATLANTIC STAR £3.50
- ARCTIC STAR £3.50
- AIR CREW EUROPE STAR (ACE) £3.50
- AFRICA STAR £3.50
- PACIFIC STAR £3.50
- BURMA STAR £3.50
- ITALY STAR £3.50
- FRANCE AND GERMANY STAR £3.50
- DEFENCE MEDAL £8.00
- WAR MEDAL 1939 - 35 (END OF WAR MEDAL). £8.00
The Above valuations are an average based on UK Made MOD Approved medals and suppliers of Ministry Of Defence medals.
We will be adding to this section and all information is a guide and our beliefs based on information available and our own personal experiences.
After a long campaign by veterans there is now an addition to the WW2 Stars of the Arctic Star and Bomber Command clasp with a huge range of Commemorative medals now available.
This medal has been approved and we are selling them now in full size and Miniature Versions.